Restless Hearts

Heavenly Father, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you: Look with compassion upon the heartfelt desires of your servants, and purify our disordered affections, that we may behold your eternal glory in the face of Christ Jesus; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
If you were to enter our house on any given day, you would likely find it in a state of disorder. I have one kid who is a collector of anything small enough to hide in a pocket, another who is an avid lego master, and a third who firmly believes that backpacks, shoes and board games live in the middle of the living room floor. Needless to say, "order of things" does not reign in our house.

Given the usual state of my home, I've noticed something about myself over the years. I can handle a certain level of disorganization and clutter--and then I JUST CAN NOT. My stress level and ability to relax are directly related to the state of my primary living space. To put it more simply, if things around me are disordered, I am unable to rest.

Something I've never considered prior to reading the collect for this week, is that the same is true of my heart. The request that our Heavenly Father will purify our disordered affections comes on the heels of acknowledging that our hearts are restless.

Am I able to physically rest when things around me are disordered? No. So why would I expect that I would be able to rest in my Heavenly Father when my affections are disordered?

Matthew 11:28 clearly communicates that Jesus promises that all who are heavy burdened will receive rest for their souls if they come to him. Why does this rest feel elusive?

This collect, and the words of Jesus, remind us that we are hauling our own burden of disordered affections. When our primary affection is not Jesus, our burden continues to be heavy and laborious...he promises that his burden for us is "easy & light".  What I deeply appreciate about this prayer is that it is a request of our Father to purify the topsy-turvey affections I can't seem to get in the right order. In His compassion, He is able where we are not! He also gives us the promised rest because of His own sacrificed Son whose affections were always correctly ordered. (Mark 14:36 "yet not what I will, but what you will")

It is here, in this place of perfectly ordered affections, that we receive MORE than just temporary rest. We are ALSO gifted the ability to experience the eternal glory of God and an everlasting rest. 

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